Bordering Corcovado National Park is the Guaymi Indian Reservation. Located in the clouded forest high in the mountains, the Guaymi Indians have lived in this region for thousands of years. They moved to the reserve in the 1970s. A nomadic people, the Guaymi Indians occupied southern central Costa Rica and Western Panama. Today they sill live a semi-nomadic life, despite their permanent settlements. They strive to retain their cultural traditions. Fortunately because of the remoteness of the Osa Peninsula, they have preserved their cultural heritage. The Guaymi Indians are the largest surviving indigenous population in Costa Rica. Continue reading →
I love chocolate and I love the earth, so when the two come together to form an organic sustainable farm that sounds like a good idea to me. Kobo Farm, founded by four brothers, does just this by including a cocao orchard among the many crops it grows here. The brothers had a vision to create a sustainable farm and went for it. It is not only a working farm, but also an educational center that ecotourists and locals visit. Here visitors learn about sustainable agriculture practices. Kobo Farm is leading a growing trend in the area towards sustainable agriculture coupled with microfarming. I’m betting chocolate will become the next big thing here too. Continue reading →
Chocolate is one of the world’s treasured delicacies. Cocoa can be traced back to 600 A.D when the Mayans migrated to northern South America and established the first known Cocoa Plantation in the Yucatan. Its early uses included not only eating it, but also using it as a currency. It was cultivated by indigenous people as a sacred plant for thousands of years until discovered by Spain in the 1600s and has become a major international commodity. Continue reading →
As world food demand rises with a growing population, micro farming is an old concept quickly gaining popularity. It use to be that big is beautiful now the model is shifting to small is beautiful and that is the essence of micro farming. The dominant 20th century paradigm that large-scale agriculture could save and feed the world is now being turned on its head as years of cumulative problems start to rear their ugly heads and climate instability becomes a more pressing issue. The search for solutions to these problems has led people to the rediscovery of micro farming.
Micro farming was practiced for centuries before industrialized farming. With the growing demand for food, micro farming is gaining momentum through out the world including in urban areas. 15% of the world’s food now comes from micro farmers. It works under the principles that the ecosystem is based on relationships of interdependency and balance. Continue reading →
Americans love to travel making up 49% of Costa Rica tourists and they are demanding eco destination spots. According to the World Trade Organization, ecotourism captured 7% of the international market in 2007 with a global market economic impact of $77 billion. Ecotourism accounts for 6% of the worldwide GDP with a staggering growth rate of 5% per year. The industry is being driven by a rising consumer demand, which is creating a healthy market that many resorts are catering to.
“In wilderness lies the preservation of the world.” Thoreau
On the edge of civilization in the Osa Peninsula is the Golfito Wildlife Refuge, which is one of the regions many protected areas. While Golfito means little, the surrounding area’s biodiversity is a treasure trove of nature’s wonders. In 1939, the United Fruit Company established the frontier town of Golfito for banana production. This area is known as the last frontier, and it is one of the least explored and most beautiful places in the world. Neighboring Golfito and Blancas National Park is the Golfito National Wildlife Refuge, which covers some 6,943 acres. this wildlife refuge plays a significant role in habitat protection of wildlife, flora and fauna. They safeguard the area from development paths that would threaten the incredible biodiversity of this country while also supporting ecotourism . Continue reading →
Endangered sharks are abundant in these waters and these prehistoric creatures are some of the most intriguing of all of sea creatures. It is no surprise that the fertile Golfo Dulce is a nursery for many fish including juvenile sharks. While they have gotten a bad wrap for being predators, they play a very important role in maintaining health of the oceans as predators and scavengers. Females travel from the ocean to this coastal area to birth pups in the mangroves where the young sharks find protection from large predators. A growing concern are the free trade agreements with China that allow for large-scale extraction coupled with China’s insatiable appetite for shark fin soup. The number of illegal shark poachers is on the rise and there is a growing push for shark protection initiatives in Costa Rica. Continue reading →
In the Southern part of Costa Rica just above Panama is Golfo Dulce. Wild, untouched raw nature, this bay is where you go for an exotic get away. With a fragile marine environment, it is one of only three tropical fjords in the entire world. The mangroves provide a crucial nursery for marine life such as sharks and shrimp. With a depth of more than 1,000 feet in some places, it is one of the deepest gulfs on the planet. It provides some of the best inshore fishing opportunities available anywhere. With an abundance of snapper, roosterfish, grouper, snook, blue travelli, amber jack, jack crevalle and ciero mackeral there is no shortage of fishing opportunities here. It is a bottomless pit in terms of the number of fish. It is a favored destination spot for anglers, and Costa Rica has taken special efforts to preserve the surrounding the environment. The question is: What makes these waters so incredible? Continue reading →
Tucked away in a remote spot along the Golfo Dulce is a magnificent botanical garden. New Hampshire natives Ron and Trudy McCallister while on a roadtrip from the USA to South America purchased an old cacao plantation and created the Casa Orquideas Botanical Gardens. Located at the base of the Piedras Blancas Mountains, they turned these five acres into a majestic “Garden of Eden.” Ron and Trudy, self-taught botanists, applied their years of knowledge to create this little exotic garden paradise. Today the garden supports conservation and education efforts and hosts many visitors to guided or unguided tours every year. Continue reading →
Besides the great right hand breaks, Matapalo is also a key spot for Humpback Whale watching. The 5th largest of the whale species, they can grow as long as 52 feet and weigh up to 50 tons. They may be gray, black or mottled and most likely have white on its flipperss and underside. These great mammals of the sea arrive here twice a year from the Northern Hemisphere in January and February and then from the Southern Hemisphere in August and September. You can sometimes see a pod of 50 or more migrating offshore to the south. Mothers will bring their calves into the Golfo Dulce to teach their young how to feed on their own and breach. Sadly, these endangered species are under increased stress due to the acceleration of climate change. Continue reading →
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